WordPress 3.8 is Here and it’s a Big Update!

WordPress v3.8 has just been released and this may be the biggest update in years for our clients!

Wordpress 3.8 Colors

A few months back, I was exploring different ideas for making changes to the default administration experience in WordPress.

I wanted to hide a few things and make things a bit easier for clients attempting to work on their iPads.

What I found was a curious plugin for WordPress titled ‘MP6‘ .  This plugin was labelled in a meaningless manner — what is an mp6?  And it was disguised by some of the worst graphic designs and a silly description.

I was thrilled when I read between the lines.  It was what everyone is experiencing this week.  It was the new admin interface for WordPress – made available as an under-the-radar plugin.

Wordpress MP6

I have to hand it to the WordPress team — the silliness surrounding this soft launch of the new user experience has a profound message.

Can you spot all the ways that this graphic offends every design sensibility?  Let’s see …  bevelled edges, multiple lens flares, use of Lithos and Comic Sans fonts http://www.comicsanscriminal.com) , rainbow gradients, drop shadows, Apple’s linen background texture and poorly cropped product showcase guy using what looks like an outdated laptop … did I miss one?

So what’s the point?

While the WordPress Admin is arguably the best CMS interface out there — it’s riddled with bad habits.  There are drop shadows and bevels and other little things — honestly it’s not that bad.  But it’s not future forward either.

Microsoft took a huge gamble on their Modern UI with Windows Phone and Windows 8.  They ditched the transparent, rounded edges in their ‘Aero’ interface found in Windows Vista and Windows 7 for something more flat, distinct, and with clear separation and appeal on all devices.

Apple have rejected their skeuomorphic designs for flattened icons too.  Thank you, Apple, for helping us out!  We can now use you as an example to a client who wants a website that looks like a restaurant menu or an ecommerce site that looks like a literal storefront.

Google’s UX (User Experience) follows the premise: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.”  Their latest ‘cards’ design aesthetic promotes both summarized content and also the ability to quickly ‘discard’ anything that one doesn’t want in their deck.  You’ll find this on ‘Google Now’ and in YouTube and all over Google+.

The WordPress dashboard now joins the ranks of flattened icons and simple colors — and the results are STRIKING.

What started off as a playful test has now become the default interface and it’s REALLY awesome and we cannot wait for our clients to try it out!

Wordpress 3.8 Aesthetic

The WordPress team gone to great lengths to bring the latest trends in UX (User Experience Design) into a mobile enhanced admin interface.  It’s retina ready — uses Open Sans (my personal favorite font) — and problematic areas such as the ‘Widgets’ screen have been simplified and made a true joy to use!

What we’re really excited about is that WordPress continues to deliver an unparalleled experience to YOUR visitors, OUR clients and OUR developers!  Wordpress is the one team member that we didn’t have to hire and really pulls its weight!

Read more at: http://wordpress.org/news/2013/12/parker/

Oh, and one More Thing… now that your admin experience is mobile-ready and modern — how does your public side of your site look?  Drop shadows and rainbow gradients?  Looks good on your computer, but embarrassing on your smartphone?  Did someone drop some Comic Sans next to your logo?

We’re here to help!  Call us at 214.997.4893!